One of the more surprising releases on Wednesday was RCB letting go of Chris Morris and Mike Hesson revealed that the franchise took the decision owing to the South African not having played enough top-level cricket. Hesson also revealed that Finch was released based on an underwhelming IPL 2020.
Royal Challengers Bangalore had a more than decent season in IPL 2020, especially considering that it was arguably the most competitive IPL of all-time. Yet they managed to reach the playoffs, which wasn't bad at all. One of the hallmarks of their approach last season was how they were backing their players unlike earlier seasons but cometh the squad release and retention day, they seemed to have pressed the panic button as they released quite a few players.
Chris Morris' release was baffling for many RCB fans given he took 11 wickets in 9 games in IPL 2020 at an exceptional economy rate of 6.63. He was the leader of the bowling attack whenever he played and his exploits in death overs and the balance he provided to the side helped them win quite a few games. The right-armer was invaluable to the side given there were no better fast bowling options than the South African all-rounder, but there were concerns regarding his fitness, with him missing close to half a season due to injury.
On the back of the franchise releasing the pacer, RCB's Director of Cricket Operations Mike Hesson revealed that Morris' 'lack of high level cricket' in recent times played its part in RCB pulling the plug on the speedster. Hesson also talked about the release of Finch, who had an underwhelming outing in 2020.
“As a 10 crore signing, Morris was a big part of our resource. But he had some injuries and missed quite a lot of cricket. Morris hasn’t played high-level cricket since then, so there is some risk there. As for Finch, it did not quite work out for him as we’d have liked. We have (Australian wicketkeeper-batsman) Josh Philippe as a top-order cover (for Finch),” Mike Hesson stated in an RCB Twitter handle video, reported Sportstar.
Hesson lauded young Indian Test stars Washington Sundar, Mohammed Siraj and Navdeep Saini for their great performances in the recently-concluded Border-Gavaskar trophy and asserted that he was pleased with the showing of the youngsters the franchise retained.
“We’ve retained a number of young players - Washington, Siraj, Shahbaz Nadeem, Devdutt Padikkal and Saini. It’s pleasing to see how they’ve progressed. And the way they (Siraj, Sundar and Saini) performed with the Test side in Australia was phenomenal. We’re proud that they are associated with RCB.”
Here is the complete list of who RCB have retained and released:
Retained - Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Yuzvendra Chahal, Devdutt Padikkal, Washington Sundar, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Adam Zampa, Shahbaz Ahmed, Josh Phillippe, Kane Richardson, Pawan Deshpande